The day finally came on Friday for the veteran competitor after he led flag-to-flag to capture his first Allstar Late Models victory of the season.
John Staton, of Chesapeake, held off multiple advances from Larry Jackson to secure the big trophy and check following the 30-lap contest on the backdrop of Memorial Day Weekend.
Jackson, of Elizabeth City, had a fast car that handled well with the track set up after a blistering hot day that saw temperatures climb well into the 90s. Brent Robinson earned the third-place finish with last week’s winner, Tom Wilson, claiming the fourth spot.
Three cautions slowed the race for spins or incidents on the course. The most vicious occurred on the opening lap when Kitty Hawk’s Brian Hankins steering malfunctioned, sending the number 77-car hard into the inside retaining wall. The hit ended his night before the race officially began as his vehicle sustained major front-end damage.
Billy Hubbard also had an incident on lap 10 when he and Jarad Satterly, who was in his first start, got together at the end of the front stretch, sending both cars spinning. Fortunately, there was little to no damage for either car and Hubbard was able to bounce back to a sixth-place finish.
With his runner-up efforts, Jackson takes the season-long standings lead over race winner Staton by a slim two points heading into this weekend’s races. Hubbard dropped from the first spot to third-place, four behind Jackson.
Mark Gonzales took his place back in the winner’s circle following the 20-lap Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman event. The former champion and second-generation racer from Elizabeth City earned his third consecutive pole earlier in qualifying and came back to notch his first checkered flag of the year after leading flag-to-flag.
Defending race winner Mark Overman finished in second-place with Jay Perry earning his best finish to date of third-place.
Overman continues to lead the points race by four markers over Gonzales, who moves to second, sending Troy Brickhouse back to third, six in the rears.
Camden’s Dennis Barnes rebounded after a miserable race one week ago when he was caught up in an incident and unable to finish the event, to earn the first-place finish this week. Barnes led the entire Little Caesars Super Streets event from the pole position and held off Kevin Bray at the finish line.
Bray had previously won the first two races of the season and had to settle for the runner-up finish with Kolton Stevens securing his best career finish of third-place.
Bray continues to hold the championship chase lead by 18-points over Barnes, who with the win, moves from fourth to second. Stevens falls to third, 20-markers behind the leader.
Trevor Battoia found his second win in three races this season in Friday’s Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours 15-circuit challenge. Chris Freeman earned the second spot by the race conclusion and Lance Gregory matched his best finish of third for the second time in 2021. With the win, Battoia is now tied with Freeman for the points standings lead and Gregory is currently third.
Carter Weiss won the kids in Go-Karts two-lap event. The young racer of Elizabeth City is the son of Joe Weiss, former Rapid Racing Sportsman competitor and brother of Holley Weiss, who also competes at Dixieland and Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Virginia.
Track officials, drivers, crews and fans paused during the pre-race show to remember the fallen heroes on the special Memorial Day weekend.
Racing resumes this Friday night, June 4, with four divisions competing, including twin Allstar Late Model events. Additionally, Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman, Little Caesars Super Streets, and the Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours, will take to the main stage. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and racing begins at 8:00 p.m. For more information, dial 252-771-5151.
About Dixieland Speedway:
Dixieland Speedway is northeastern North Carolina’s premier action track. The 3/8-mile dirt oval has hosted exciting Friday night racing since 1983. Long straightaways and tight turns lead to intense on-track action. The clay track is 55 feet wide and turns one and two are banked at 12 degrees, while turns three and four are eight degrees. Race fans from all over the region have come out to witness spectacular side-by-side racing through the years. Don’t miss your chance to see why they call Dixieland, the track that started it all. To learn more, visit dixielandspeedway.net or follow Dixieland Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Dixieland Speedway is located at 1520 Northside Road in Elizabeth City.